Well, my first poll conducted on my blog just closed a few days ago. Here are the results:
6 people said gay marriage should be allowed.
3 people said gay marriage should not be allowed.
6 people said civil unions were okay, but not marriage.
0 people said that they didn't care one way or another.
Okay, so lets analyze the results. Naturally, if you don't care, why vote at all? That was sort of a dumb question on my part. But moving on, at first glance, one might think that there were more in favor of gay marriage being allowed than there were against it. But then you would have to consider the third option. Altogether, 9 people said that they felt gay marriage should not be allowed. Of those 9, 6 believed that civil unions should be allowed and recognized. What does that mean? It means that even though some don't believe marriage should be allowed, a majority do feel that gay relationships should be recognized in some way. If you look at the results in this way, you will find that a large majority had this feeling. Whether through marriage or civil unions, a total of 12 to 3 felt that gay relationships should be recognized. I think that's important to point out. Of those 12, half believe gay relationships should be recognized through marriage. The other half believe they should be recognized through civil unions. But there was not a consensus on how they should be recognized. There were only 3 people who voted who believe gay relationships should not be recognized.
I really find this interesting. When I first began this poll, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I had a hunch that more would be in favor of recognizing gay relationships in some fashion, due to the background of those who typically follow my blog (and that was a variable that should be considered here in this poll), but I was surprised to see the even split between those who favored gay marriage to civil unions. Even though a majority favored recognizing gay relationships in some way, that majority was evenly divided about how to recognize such relationships. After seeing these results, I'm not as surprised now about the failure to prevent Proposition 8 from passing in California a few months ago. These results, I think, show that indeed, the majority of people are not in favor of gay marriage. However, that does not suggest that the majority is against recognizing homosexual relationships.
So what are the implications? I see a problem here for those in the gay community fighting for gay marriage. Is the ultimate goal here a recognition of homosexual relationships, or is it to prove that homosexual relationships are exactly the same as heterosexual relationships? If it's the later, the results will always prove fatal. Gay relationships can never be exactly the same as straight relationships. Two men are not the same as a man and a woman. It's as simple as that. And I think most people see this. They see there is a difference here (Yes, apples and oranges are both fruit, but an apple can never be an orange). This poll of mine indicates this belief. However, if the goal is simply to get a recognition of homosexual relationships, then wouldn't it seem a far better bet to focus attention on civil unions? I do not doubt that all of those who supported gay marriage in my poll would also support civil unions for gay couples. However, those who supported civil unions clearly showed they were not in favor of gay marriage. My argument is wouldn't it be better for supporters of gay marriage to support civil unions instead? First off, they would clearly have an easier case to make, and if they won, they would still get all the rights and benefits given to straight married couples. The only difference is that they would have to let go of their attempt to prove the two kinds of relationships as the same. Logic suggests the two can never be the same. Not really. So, why not just accept that and fight for what's actually achievable?
There again, is gay marriage not achievable? More and more states seem to be accepting it. But just because the state accepts it, does that mean everyone will accept it? I don't think so. As a Christian, I can never accept any union between two people of the same sex as marriage. Even if the state allows gay marriage, which I tend to believe it should, I still could not accept it. That's just not marriage to me. It may be like marriage, but it's not marriage. I could, however, accept civil unions. As a Christian, I can't really complain about civil unions at all. So, wouldn't that be better to fight for? Looks to me like that would be a win win for everyone.
Let me know what you think. How do you feel about the results of this poll? Do you see the same implications I do?
As for the next poll, I'm still undecided as to what it will be about. I have a few ideas, but I've not settled on one just yet. So, keep a look out. I should have my mind made up in the next few days.